Because of old equipment and patchwork repairs, Amtrak faces "the threat of a major failure . . . on a daily basis" on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak chief executive Joseph Boardman said Monday.

Testifying before a congressional subcommittee in Bridgeport, Conn., about the effects of a September power outage that crippled Amtrak and Metro North service north of New York, Boardman said aging infrastructure and inadequate funding threaten the national railroad.

"We have an infrastructure that, while safe, is vulnerable to service disruptions at virtually any time and place," Boardman said, especially where congestion is greatest and backup systems don't exist.

- Paul Nussbaum